My house was neat enough if you didn’t look too closely. You could walk into it without falling over a pile of dirty clothing (that was all in the basement — another story entirely) and the dogs and cats were  (usually) housebroken.

I couldn’t say the same for my toddler or my friends. Overall, the toddler was less of a threat to house and home than the friends, but when they got to messing around, anything could happen.

As my son grew, he developed (what a surprise) a passion for all kinds of creatures. Rabbits. Hamsters. Birds. We already had cats (many) and dogs.

We never properly owned more than two dogs but often had three or four. Two of them were ours. One was on loan from a friend who was in the army or on the road playing gigs. The fourth had belonged to a houseguest who had left but somehow forgotten to take their dog. Sometimes, it took us years to get the owner to come back and take the furkid too.

I love animals that aren’t insects, so while I frequently pointed out that it was NOT my dog and would they please come and get him or her, I would never throw them out. The owner I might toss out the door, but never the dog.

The year Owen turned eight, he decided he wanted geckos. They were the “in” things for 8-year-old boys that year. I pointed out that I didn’t think they would last long with the cats in the house.

He wanted the geckos. I was not much of a disciplinarian. If you argue with me, I’ll say no at least twice. After that? I usually give up.

As soon as we got the terrarium and the plants and finally settled the geckos into their home, Owen promptly lost interest in them and rediscovered his bicycle. That left me to care for the geckos, who would only eat mealworms.

I am not a big fan of worms. Any worms. I can tolerate earthworms because they are good for the soil, but overall, if it creeps or crawls, it’s not my thing. Did I mention that the geckos would only eat LIVE mealworms? I had to buy them in little cups at the pet store.

So mom dropped over and the cup of mealworms for the geckos had tipped over in the fridge. Which was now full of tiny worms. I assured her that my fridge does not usually contain worms and the worms were what the geckos ate. I don’t think she believed me. It was years before she would eat anything at my house. She always quietly inspected everything, in case there were a few worms there.

As for the geckos, a few days later, the cats figured out how to open the terrarium and there were no more geckos. And thankfully, no more mealworms.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

12 thoughts on “THE TINY WORMS IN THE FRIDGE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Ha.. It was a real relief to finally get around to the explanation of why there were worms in your fridge. Worms are my worst nightmare.. worse than snakes or spiders. Right up there with cockroaches. Y’know, a family’s gotta live. So what’s a spare dog or a few mealyworms between friends and family??? That said, better your fridge than mine.


  2. My stepson suddenly decided to go fishing in the local river. This was many years ago when he was a teenager. It was then that I discovered a jar of living mealworms in my fridge. I don’t mind spiders or even beetles, but they don’t need a fridge to survive, but worms, yuck


  3. 🙂 What a great story! My son loved fishing but he didn’t eat fish and he certainly didn’t kill fish…. What he did however, was searching for live worms and he dutifully kept them fresh by putting them you know where 😉
    Many many years on: He’s still fishing, and he still throws the fish back into the water – he once offered me a self-caught large trout – that was the one slip he allowed himself.


  4. “He wanted the geckos. I was not much of a disciplinarian. If you argue with me, I’ll say no at least twice. After that? I usually give up.” Sounds like something from The Simpsons: “Dad, can I get a Gecko?” “No.” “Can I get a Gecko?” “No.” “Can I get a gecko?” “Sigh, go ask your mom.” “Mom, can I get a gecko?” “No.” “Can I get a Gecko?” “No.” “Can I get a Gecko?” “Sigh, OK, but promise to take carer of it…”


  5. Sorry to hear about the geckos. My two kids raised a couple when they were 6 and 8 as well. I don’t know much about the care or feeding of them. Yes, theirs only ate meal worms. They both lasted about 5 or 6 before dying (of natural causes I imagine) even with cats in the house.


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